PHILADELPHIA -- Noah Syndergaard came out firing Monday.
The Mets (6-6) returned to .500 for the first time since the second series of the season. The Phillies took two of three games that weekend at Citi Field.
In Monday's series opener, Yoenis Cespedes tripled with two outs in the sixth inning against Jerad Eickhoff. Cespedes then scored the tiebreaking run on Lucas Duda's opposite-field double, which narrowly eluded David Lough in the left fielder’s Phillies debut.
Duda and Neil Walker contributed solo homers in the eighth against reliever David Hernandez to provide a three-run cushion. It marked the first time this season that Mets batters went deep in back-to-back at-bats. The most recent time Mets had done that in the regular season had been Sept. 5, when Wilmer Flores and Travis d'Arnaud homered consecutively off Miami’s Brad Hand.
Wright added a solo homer in the ninth for a 5-1 lead. The Phillies scored a run in the bottom of the ninth against Jeurys Familia.
The Mets had produced only two homers in the first eight games of the season. They now have 11 in their past four games, a shift that coincides with Michael Conforto's move to the No. 3 hole (he was 0-for-3 with three strikeouts and a walk Monday).
Syndergaard (2-0) allowed one run on five hits, two walks and a wild pitch while striking out eight in seven innings. He departed with his pitch count at 94. He now owns a 0.90 ERA.
Syndergaard became the seventh pitcher in franchise history to allow one run or fewer and toss at least six innings in each of his first three appearances in a season. He joined Matt Harvey (2013), Rick Reed (2000), Frank Viola (1991), Tom Seaver (1972 and ’73), Nolan Ryan (1970) and Jerry Koosman (1968).
Syndergaard has produced at least eight strikeouts while allowing no more than one run in each his first three games this season. The only player in the past 100 years with more such games to start a season is Randy Johnson, who had four straight to open his 1995 Cy Young campaign, according to ESPN Stats & Information.
Citizen Wright: Is there any doubt that Wright’s first child should be named Citizen -- patterned after Mets nemesis Chipper Jones' naming his son Shea, after Shea Stadium? Wright’s first-inning solo homer off Eickhoff was the captain’s 21st homer at Citizens Bank Park. He slugged No. 22 in the ninth. That’s the most of any visiting player in the ballpark’s history. Carlos Beltran ranks second, with 14.
Four of Wright’s six opposite-field home runs in the past four seasons have come in Philly. Monday’s two long balls provided Wright his first two RBIs of the season.
Manager Terry Collins had rested Wright on Sunday in Cleveland to make sure he could play all three games in Philadelphia, where the captain loves to hit.
What’s next: Logan Verrett , who tossed six scoreless innings against the Miami Marlins last week, again fills in for Jacob deGrom on Tuesday. Verrett (0-0, 1.69 ERA) opposes right-hander Vince Velasquez (2-0, 0.00) at 7:05 p.m. ET. Velasquez has struck out 25 in 15 scoreless innings to open the season.